Grande Prairie City Council endorsed a 1.71% tax increase for the 2023 City budget to continue to provide quality services to the community while balancing rising costs of living and global inflation.
The budget deliberations were for approval of the 2023-2026 operating and 2023-2027 capital budgets.
The City uses a multi-year budget aligned City Council’s four-year Strategic Plan. The first year of the budget is approved with the remaining years approved in principle, with deliberations held every year to discuss and adjust as required.
The 2023–2026 operating budget is what is determined necessary to provide continued services, as well as invest in additional projects and initiatives.
Over the past 5 years, inflation has out-paced tax rate changes by over 16%.
“Budget 2023 represents the first opportunity the current Council has had to align our financial commitments with our 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, which prioritizes quality of life for all residents,” says Mayor Jackie Clayton.
This year’s deliberations took a keen eye on the need-to-haves versus the nice-to-haves, to ensure we can continue to provide quality services our residents rely on while balancing the economic hardships being felt by all Canadians due to rising costs of living and global inflation, and the impacts that are being felt here in Grande Prairie.
While we continue to experience some revenue pressures from COVID-19, limited tax base growth, higher inflation rates and increased contractual obligations, the City is working to address these challenges with ongoing service reviews and ensuring we are maximizing efficiencies with responsible use of tax dollars.
Our plan with Budget 2023 is on bringing revenue back to historic levels, continuous improvement of service delivery, and attraction and retention of economic development to offset rising costs and minimize financial impacts on our taxpayers all while supporting a community where residents love where they live.”
- $20 million for capital road work
- $1.5 million for pedestrian links
- $200,000 for Large Scale Tourism Funding, an increase of $100,000
- $240,000 for the addition of the Urban Forest Strategy Phase 1a and Phase 2
- $75,000 in funding for Snow and Ice Control at transit stops
- $10,000 for free-drop in opportunities at the Activity and Reception Centre during winter
About the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan
Council approved the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan on May 2, 2022. This document guides Council and City Administration’s decisions over the course of their term.
Council’s overarching priority in the plan is Quality of Life. Focus is on ensuring Grande Prairie remains a place where all current and future residents “want to live, learn, work and play.”
To achieve these, the plan is built on the following pillars:
- Innovative Efficiencies & Economic Readiness: ensuring we are building strong economy ready for new investment opportunities.
- Inclusive Caring Community: promoting multiculturalism and supporting our community’s most vulnerable through a variety of programs
- Engaging Relationships: highlighting our successes with stakeholders and other levels of government to build on mutual success
A Priority Based approach to budgeting is used for the City’s 300+ services to allocate funding based on alignment with the Strategic Plan.
Budget 2023 was further developed with input on residents’ expectations for service, and values and priorities as determined by the 2023 Budget Engagement and 2022 Resident Satisfaction Survey. View the “What We Heard” reports on the project pages at engage.cityofgp.com.
Grande Prairie is a vibrant, connected and inclusive community with a resourceful spirit. Council seeks to leverage diversity and seize our growing opportunities by embracing challenges.
The budget will receive final ratification at the November 28 City Council meeting.
For more information on the budget, visit cityofgp.com/budget.